They are the first to receive IVF treatment at Newcastle's Fertility Centre at Life at a reduced cost in return for donating some eggs for research.
They came forward after the North East England Stem Cell Institute (NESCI) received final approval and funding for the scheme known as egg sharing for research.
Under the scheme, women receive about half of the cost of their IVF treatment, £1500, in return for the donation of half their eggs.
One hundred women came forward and, after testing and counselling, fifteen were found to be suitable and six begin treatment this month.
Scientists at the North East England Stem Cell Institute believe the funding will lead to an increase in the number of eggs for research which could lead to faster progress in stem cell therapies. The project continues over two years.
Professor Alison Murdoch who is leading the project at the North East England Stem Cell Institute (NESCI), says "We are delighted at the excellent response from women in the North East to this important research. We hope that significant progress will be made in the research and that it will also help many couples to have a family from IVF treatment."
People interested in finding out more about the egg sharing scheme should call 0191 282 5000 and leave a name, address and number or download more information and a form at www.nesci.ac.uk
The North East England Stem Cell Institute (NESCI) draws together Durham and Newcastle Universities, the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and other partners in a unique interdisciplinary collaboration to convert stem cell research and technologies into cost-effective, ethically-robust 21st century health solutions to ameliorate degenerative diseases, the effects of ageing and serious injury. The Institute has received substantial funding and other support from the Regional Development Agency, One NorthEast and is partly based at the International Centre for Life in Newcastle.
published on: 7th January 2008